Detroit Red Wings need to start prioritizing an extension for Dylan Larkin

(Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are working on finishing the rest of their 2021-22 season and getting things squared away. However, one thing that needs to be on the Red Wings’ radar is a contract extension for captain Dylan Larkin.

While it seems like Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has this on his mind, and it may be in the works, it’s something that needs to be prioritized. His recent media availability from just over a week ago provided some insight into the Red Wings’ plans.

Larkin signed a five-year extension back in 2018 that will carry him through the 2022-23 season, and it’s hard to see the Red Wings not wanting to get working on an extension to take that worry off the table.

He’s the team’s captain, and there should be a certainty for what Larkin’s contract looks like without worrying that the team may lose him. It’s hard to think he’d want to leave his hometown team, but the quest to find a successful franchise may lure him elsewhere; that’s why it would be best to lock him up as this team gets back to a competitive era.

Detroit Red Wings need to prioritize re-signing Dylan Larkin.

Looking ahead, he’s going to be on the books for a $6.1 million cap hit in 2022-23, and the hope should be that Yzerman can lock down the 25-year-old captain and keep him around for at least five more seasons.

Maybe it’s a bit overzealous to think he can continue to prove worthy of the captaincy. As a leader on and off the ice, he can work with this new wave of talent showing through on the Red Wings roster and hopefully be a part of a competitive postseason run once again.

The Red Wings have gotten plenty out of Larkin on losing teams; there’s got to be hope for him to keep producing well on more competitive teams. Larkin has logged 61 games in 2021-22, where he has 28 goals and 34 assists for 62 total points.

He’s 11 points shy of a career-high and looking to keep captaining this team through the end of the rebuild. Is he some sort of NHL-best player who is going to perform to the likes of a top-ten player? No, but the Red Wings would be silly not to keep him around.

Even if he is better suited to end up as a second-line center in a few seasons, so be it. He’s a leader and someone who will be able to captain this Red Wings squad well. He was a bit of a hothead and still can be at times, but part of it seems to be his passion for winning and for the game itself.

Losing is never fun; Larkin’s been through the lows with the Red Wings, and keeping him around to experience the highs seems like the best thing for this organization. He’ll be a quality leader, and he’s grown exponentially as the team’s captain in the last two seasons.

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The Red Wings need to get on it. They have to get Larkin extended to keep him around Hockeytown.